It's Christmas Day 2011. I've had a bad chest cold for weeks and a stubborn cough that refuses to go away. Finally, about 11pm my roommate, Renee, tells me she's taking me to the Emergency Room because I cannot breathe.
Walking into the ER, the nurse (or whoever it was) asks me why I am there. On top of not being able to breathe, I immediately start crying and cannot speak because of all my emotional buildup. The nurse (or whoever it was) asks for my insurance card and has me put my Social Security # in a calculator. I take a seat in the waiting area with Naenae. Within 10-15 minutes they call me back, usher me into a very non-private room and begin questioning about my symptoms and medical/health history. The ER doctor decides to do some blood work and a CT scan. Somewhere between 2-3am the doctor informs me that I have a tumor in the Mediastinum Space of my chest.
I've just been re-diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system. The nurse was compassionate (doctor was too) and reminded me that I only have to take one day at a time and right now...one hour at a time.
For many individuals this could be terrifying and the worst news ever. At first, I didn't know what to think or what was going to happen (two years previously I was orginally diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and went through chemotherapy). I only knew that my physical body was very sick (I often forget how sick I really was at the time). I hope I have not bored you with these details. I share them because I feel a little information about my circumstances might assist in giving clarity of why I share the lessons I have and continue to learn from this past year. That being re-diagnosed with cancer is one of my greatest blessings.
I have heard that there is a Chinese character that translates to crisis. That same Chinese character also translates to opportunity. I ask myself is this a crisis or an opportunity? I say opportunity and what an opportunity it has been and will continue to be if I choose and create it.
NOTE: I have left many details out for my own personal reasons. As I continue writing my blog, the story will unfold itself. Just appreciate the randomness of it all.
I have so much gratitude for Renee, Jilian, Danielle, and many friends in San Diego who handled the majority of the mechanics so that I could go back to Utah. Thank you for your love, support and everything you have done.